Easy Banana Nut Muffins

IMG_8868Banana Honey-Nut Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

FOR THE MUFFINS

  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • large eggs
  • 2 to 3 overripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream (low fat is fine)

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
    2. Make the walnut topping: In a small bowl, toss the nuts with the honey and cinnamon until the nuts are evenly coated (the mixture will be sticky). Set aside.
    3. For the Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and honey until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated between additions. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla, and yogurt (or sour cream) and beat until blended (the batter will look grainy; that’s okay). Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
    5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin (the cups will be very full) and sprinkle evenly with the nut topping. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden and domed, 25 to 28 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Once Upon a Chef’s Jennifer Segal

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 – 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

  • Serving size:1 muffin
  • Calories:302
  • Fat:15 g
  • Saturated fat:6 g
  • Carbohydrates:38 g
  • Sugar:21 g
  • Fiber:2 g
  • Protein:5 g
  • Sodium:216 mg
  • Cholesterol:52 mg

 

Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto and Goat Cheese

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8-12 baby red bell peppers (or a combination of red, yellow and orange)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons prepared pesto (I love using Kirklands from Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 ounces goat cheese
  • fresh oregano (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice mini bell peppers in half and remove stem and seeds. Place in a large bowl (or large ziplock bag) and toss with pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar until peppers are completely covered.
  3. Line up peppers on a baking sheet and place into oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Take peppers out and carefully add crumbled goat cheese to insides of pepper halves.
  5. Place back into oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until goat cheese is melted.
  6. Optional: sprinkle chopped fresh oregano over peppers before serving.
  • Psst!  You can marinate and place peppers on a foil lined tray up to the night before if you want to shorten the preparation time right before serving.

Savory Sweet Potato Fries

img_7430Savory Sweet Potato Fries

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
2 ½ Tablespoons fresh thyme (rough chopped)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash and prepare the fresh ingredients:
– Cut the sweet potatoes in 3rds and then cut each “wheel” in 8ths to make wedges
– Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
– Chop the fresh thyme.
3. Prepare the Fries:
– Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat the potatoes.
– Place the potato wedges on a Teflon coated jelly roll pan (or lightly greased cookie sheet) and spread in one layer on the pan.
4.Cook the Fries:
Cook for 20 -25 minutes on until nicely browned turning once with a spatula after about 10 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Zucchini Rice

There’s a new healthy rice substitute that is SP friendly*. With just a few simple ingredients and little effort to prepare, our zucchini rice recipe is the side dish you’re going to be making all summer long. 

MAKES 4 SIDE-DISH SERVINGS
START TO FINISH: 35 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS
4 zucchini, ends trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Grate the zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater. Squeeze the grated zucchini with your hands and drain off the excess liquid.
2. Add the salt to the zucchini and toss to combine. Transfer to a strainer and drain, squeezing occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese until combined, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve immediately, warm.

* SP = Standard Process Purification Program

Italian Marinated Chicken

This moist and delicious chicken is marinated in yummy Italian flavors and is perfect for both grilling on the BBQ or pan roasting on the stove.
IMG_3728

ITALIAN MARINATED CHICKEN 

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lb. (around 6 pieces) chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. grapefruit balsamic vinegar  (I like 41 Olive)*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2½ tsp mixed Italian dried herbs (either a packet mix or mix herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all ingredients except for the chicken, in a small jar and shake well to combine.
  • Put the chicken in a ziplock bag and add the Dressing Marinade. Massage / mix to coat the chicken. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Ideally it should marinate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Grill/BBQ Method: You shouldn’t need any oil, but if you are concerned, brush your grill with oil. Heat the grill on medium high and cook the chicken for around 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  • Stove Method:  Preheat ½ tbsp oil in a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for around 4 to 5 minutes, or until dark golden brown and cooked through.
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill/fry pan onto a plate, loosely cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with your favorite tossed salad and toasted bread.
* You can substitute with chardonnay or apple cider vinegar, or even lemon juice if you prefer.

Note: This can be made with breast fillets too, but just be careful with the cooking time as you don’t want to overcook it.

 

Easy Herbed Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice

Easy Herbed Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 8-10 one-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine diced yellow onion
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp minced  fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp if dried)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and then use a food processor to pulse the florets into rice-like grains.*  Set riced cauliflower aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee, olive oil and onion. Sauté onion until it begins to soften. Then, add the salt, dried parsley, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well to combine the seasonings with the onion. Continue to cook onion another 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower to the seasoned onion and stir well to combine. Continue stirring and sautéing the cauli-rice until it begins to soften (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the chicken stock and cover the skillet. Allow the cauli-rice to steam for about 5 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the cauli-rice reaches desired texture.
  5. Remove cover, add the minced fresh parsley (optional) and fluff cauli-rice to combine.
  6. Serve alongside your favorite healthy meals.

Recipe Variation: By changing the herbs in this recipe, you can create customized cauli-rice to complement you main dish. For example, substitute minced fresh cilantro for the fresh parsley and add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder to create a delicious Mexi-Style Cauli-Rice.

* Psst!  You can process a head of cauliflower into rice up to 3-4 days in advance. Store the uncooked cauli-rice in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook. Cooked rice should also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and generally tastes great for up to 2-3 days. My favorite store, Trader Joe’s offers a real time saving option – cauliflower rice in a nice little bag in the refrigerator section.  Saves time and clean up!

Note: recipe creds go to thenourishinghome.com where I first found this tasty and nutritious grain-free “rice” dish.

Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

mexican chicken chiliGrowing up as a kid, the definition of chili was both a  small pepper with a very hot flavor and a spicy stew of ground beef usually with beans too. Both meant yummy goodness.  Now chili in our family seems to be synonymous with Monday Night Football.  Our version is a chicken variety with savory mexican spices.  It’s always a hit, even when our team doesn’t win.

Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

2-3 cups shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken from the deli section at Sprouts)
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans
2 cups roasted corn (I use frozen from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 ounces taco seasoning mix (I use part of the envelope from Trader Joe’s)
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies (use less if you like a milder chili)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

TOPPINGS

1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onion (optional)
Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions:

Pour beans, corn and chicken in large pot.

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth.

Pour over top of ingredients and stir together over medium heat.

Simmer for 15-30 minutes.

Serve topped with green onions, sour cream, and jack cheese, if desired.